Albany Medical Center South Clinical Campus
There are several different types of anesthesia that may be used depending on the type of surgery being done. With any anesthesia, your heart rate will be closely monitored. Oxygen may also be given to you through tubes placed in your nose or through a face mask, to help with breathing.
General anesthesia causes a temporary loss of consciousness so that no pain is felt anywhere in the body during surgery. Anesthesia is started by either putting an injection into an IV or by having the patient inhale a gas. Patients remain asleep by inhaling the gas through a mask or a special breathing tube that is inserted into the windpipe. In most cases, the tube is inserted when the patient is asleep and removed before they are awake. The patient may have a sore throat for a few days after the surgery because of the breathing tube.
Regional (local) anesthesia provides a pain-free state to a certain area of the body without the loss of consciousness. It temporarily blocks large groups of nerves in the surgical area so the pain signal cannot reach the brain or the spinal cord. A combination of IV sedation and regional anesthesia is often used for maximum comfort.
Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) is a form of anesthetic in which a patient is sedated with tranquilizers, narcotics, sedatives and other medications through an IV. The anesthesiologist determines how much and how often the drugs will be given to sedate the patient and relieve pain. Patients often have local anesthesia in combination with this IV sedation.